Dogs at playhow it works!
Almost all dogs love to playby themselves, with other dogs, people, objects and toys. But what do we really know about play? Is it possible that what looks like play is something else entirely? German author Mechtild Käufer presents findings from scores of researchers worldwide who study why dogs play, the benefits they get from play and how to recognize the rules of play that dogs follow to keep their play behaviors fun and safe. For those wanting to research this subject more, the book is thoroughly referenced. There are dozens of color photographs included to help illustrate the actions of dogs at play.
Great information on
Self-handicapping measures that dogs employ to keep things fun for all even with dogs of differing size and strength.
Benefits that play brings to puppies including increased coordination, cooperation and hunting skills.
How to be a better observer to prevent play from turning aggressive, including appropriate measures to take to intervene.
What experts are saying about Canine Play Behavior
I'm delighted that this superb book on dog play is now available in English to canine professionals and dog lovers! Based on the latest scientific understanding of the vital role of natural play in canine development and social interactions, this eminently readable book provides exceptional information as well as practical tips about play between and with dogs. Numerous photographs illustrate the concepts and behaviors beautifully.
Risë VanFleet, PhD, RPT-S, CDBC and author of The Human Half of Dog Training
Play, though joyous and fun, is a serious topic. This comprehensive, in-depth examination of play belongs on the shelves of all serious students of canine behavior.
Nicole Wilde, CPDT-KA and author of Help for Your Fearful Dog
A towering and detailed survey of the extensive literature on play. Beautifully illustrated!
Jean Donaldson, Founder of the Academy of Dog Trainers and author of Culture Clash
For those who love to see the joy on a dog's face when they are truly enjoying play, this is a great book that explains what goes on in a dog's body and mind that makes social play so important. Anyone involved with dogs should read this book and be sure every dog they encounter is having fun!
Robin Bennett, CPDT-KA and author of Off Leash Dog Play
Author Mechtild Kaufer lives in Germany with her husband and dogs where she works as a professional trainer.
Click here to view an excerpt.
What reviewers are saying...
SEATTLE KENNEL CLUB
This scholarly romp in the park is an owner playbook for both recognizing the wide-ranging behavioral parameters of dogs having fun as well as the need for these social creatures to interact with humans and others of their species.
The author addresses solitary and social play along with the roles of stress, age, gender, social structure and breed type in play from the backyard to the dog park and from puppies to middle-age dogs. Canine Play Behavior Käufer writes, For humans and dogs the importance of play is significant, deserves to be taken seriously and is often underappreciated. . . . Science considers play to be not only an activity, but also a state of mind, in the same way that dreams are another form of non-reality.
From that characterization, she first analyzes what play looks like, then examines what it feels like. An excellent array of photos complement the text throughout.
Dogs are teenagers, too, as you'll see. Some play rough, others are liquid-smooth movers and then there are the proprietary ones with balls, sticks and toys.
Curiosity, exploration and play behavior often go hand in hand, emphasizes Käufer. She notes that breed-specific behavioral traits such as playful eye-stalking on the part of herding breeds can be misunderstood by other breeds because they interpret them as agonistic behavior, not as play behavior. Hence the reason for establishing a comfort zone for a newcomer in any social setting like a dog park or doggy day care before allowing it off-leash to interact with breeds of multiple sizes.
Play is a canine social glue, the author establishes, but for Fido to reap the benefits it requires owner responsibility and attentiveness, no matter what the environment.
Canine Play Behavior is both a razor-sharp analysis and an empowering resource of a subject seldom addressed in depth. Both owner and dog are clear winners in this literary playpen.
Ranny Green, Seattle Kennel Club
THE MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
Canine Play Behavior the Science of Dogs at Play offers details on how dogs play and how to understand the process of play behaviors to keep them safe and analyzes play characteristics in all kinds of dogs, from puppies and mixed breeds to those plagued by aggressive behavior patterns. Photos supplement and enhance the concept of object-oriented play in puppies, different forms of play among dogs, how stress factors affect play and more. The result is an outstanding survey highly recommended for any collection strong in pets in general and canines in particular. James A. Cox, Editor in Chief